A NEW study links consumption of sugary drinks to about 184,000 adult deaths each year around the world.
Sugar-sweetened beverages, defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks with at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving, and excluding 100% percent fruit juice, may have been responsible for approximately 133,000 deaths from diabetes in 2010. These drinks were also seen as the primary cause of 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases and 6,450 deaths from cancer during the same period.
The research, which was published recently in Circulation and presented as an abstract at the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention in 2013, is the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages and looked into deaths and disabilities from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010. It estimated consumption based on 62 dietary surveys of 611,971 individuals across 51 countries between 1980 and 2010, and data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information.
The study investigated consumption levels of sugar-sweetened beverages in different populations along with geographical, gender, and age variation. The researchers calculated the direct impact of sugar-sweetened beverages on diabetes and the obesity-related effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer based on meta-analyses of other published evidence.
The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly among populations. Mexico recorded the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages of the 20 most populous countries. It had an estimated 405 deaths per million adults (24,000 total deaths), followed by the U.S. with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).
The estimated percentage of deaths among Mexican adults younger than 45 was at 30%, while it was under 1% among Japanese over 65 years of age.
Low- or middle-income countries had the most estimated number of deaths related to sugar-sweetened beverages at about 76%.
Younger adults had a higher percentage of chronic diseases linked to sugar-sweetened beverages than older adults.
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